Hailing from Bristol, UK, Turbowolf brings us their new album almost three years after the release of their Covers EP. The time between albums, however, was not spent writing mediocre tracks or twiddling their thumbs, indicated by the carefully crafted force-to-be-reckoned-with that is Two Hands.
In comparison to their first self-titled album, Two Hands is, in fact, calmer and softer. While the tracks are still aggressive, they are more precise and refined. But don’t be discouraged, metalheads, because Turbowolf is still bringing us the same ratio of alternative: electronic: metal, it’s just a little less angsty. It’s a little bit classier, and it’s catchy as hell.
Interestingly enough, there’s a kind of shift in the album. The first half is essentially a modern take on 1970-80’s rock; the first five tracks sounds very much like the material a Guns and Roses cover band gone original would come up with.
After “Toy Memaha” is when things get really interesting, as we begin to hear what Turbowolf brings to the table. The songs are elegantly crafted and irresistibly danceable, mixing around various elements of punk, classic and modern rock, alt, psychedelic, dance, and metal. The result is gripping and precise without losing any energy from their self-titled days.
“Rabbit’s Foot” was released before the album as a single, and has received the biggest marketing platform. While it’s a great track, it seems to me that “Nine Lives” and especially “Good Hand” would have more luck getting airplay.
If I were into running, I would totally run to “Good Hand” (I may invest in a new alarm ringtone). Lyrically and instrumentally compelling, it’s full of energy in a ‘go out and do something’ kind of way. With riffs faster than a chainsaw, this track should have been titled “Solid Gold,” because it’s totally radio-hit material.
The lyrics are all you could want from a rock band: quick rhymes, a “screw you” mentality, and passive bitterness about past wrongs. Clever and well-crafted, they do a lot to further the sophisticated yet powerful energy each track puts forth.
The disparity between Turbowolf and Two Hands serves as an excellent example of artistic growth. The former was full of energy but lacked an effective channel to release it into. The catchy rhythms and intense artistry in their newest release proved to be exactly what Turbowolf needed to perfect their craft.
We can only hope what they put out in the future comes from this same direction, and we may find out soon, considering the “To Be Confirmed” status on a new album. Whether the mutterings surrounding the release of Quell: The Ever Changing Sorcerer of Past, Present, & Future are true or just rumors, excitement over more material like Two Hands is completely understandable.